– News –

A New (Old) Character: Breseis

I may have have finally found a place to put my smattering of knowledge of Greek myth. There is a minor character in Homer’s Iliad named Breseis. You might remember her as the war prize of Achilles. She was later seized by Agamemnon, which led to Achilles sulking in his tent and allowing the Trojans to start winning the battle of Troy. Breseis is a pivotal character in the Iliad, but she does not utter a single word, and that struck me. I’m in the middle of writing a new play about her. I’m setting it at a college in upstate New York, and I’m giving her plenty to say.

Summer performance: The Spectre of Death

I’ve written a new comedy called The Spectre Of Death. [Sic.] It’s about a 60-year-old heavy-metal rocker living off the royalties from his one big hit who receives a letter from a 20-year-old woman claiming to be his daughter. Hijinks ensue. I’m pleased to say that Ara Barlieb, the artistic director of The Crowded Kitchen Players in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, has committed to giving this show a three-week run this summer. I know they’ll do a great job with it. The same company premiered my comedy Him and Jim several years ago.

Staged reading: True North

My new-ish musical True North will have a staged reading at Catholic University in Washington, DC, on February 18 at 8 pm. The show, which is about two brothers who stumble upon an enchanted valley in Tennessee, will mostly be performed by singers who are new to me, but I’m pleased to be working with a few familiar faces, including the wonderful singer Alan Naylor, talented music director Josh Cleveland, and two admired colleagues I met through my women’s rights musical, 19: The Musical: singer/actor Meredith Eib and stage manager Elizabeth Dix. Catholic University dean Jay Brock will direct. The reading is open to the public, and I’d love to see you there. You should be able to find details closer to the date on my website or on Catholic’s events calendar.

‘Twas the Season

My jazz band, Chaise Lounge, may be on permanent hiatus, but our music is having an afterlife—especially around the holidays. In years past, our numbers have been featured in made-for-cable holiday movies, and recently, Etsy used an instrumental version of our song “Trimmin’ the Tree” in one of their TV spots. (I also had an instrumental of my own picked up by Brach’s Candies for a holiday ad.) So if your ears perked up last month when a familiar tune came on the TV, it might have been one of ours.

Next Up: Cleopatra Workshop

Next Up: Cleopatra Workshop

This fall, I will be doing a workshop performance of my musical The Last Days of Cleopatra, a farce about the scandalous lovers Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton and the making of one of the worst movies ever made: 1962’s Cleopatra. Everything about this show speaks to me: farce, the year, the preposterous egos in the film business, and togas. After two years of getting the rather heavy and dramatic When We Get There off the ground, I cannot wait to dig into a real musical comedy. Stay tuned.